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Defenders, The

Defenders, The

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Item Number:
50 min.
Closed Caption:
A & E Entertainment
More than 80% of felony defendants in America receive a free, publicly funded defense. "How can you defend those people?" is a question that attorneys for the poor, whose clients are frequently accused of the most horrific crimes, constantly hear. This hard-hitting program takes a long look at the role of the public defender, and examines how the odds are stacked against this crucial component of AMERICAN JUSTICE. Meet the idealistic lawyers who are drawn to this difficult work, yet who become increasingly cynical of their role--they refer to themselves as the "stepchildren" of the legal system. See the obstacles they must overcome, including limited funding, overwhelming caseloads, recalcitrant clients, and the seemingly pervasive racism of the criminal justice system. In detailed examinations of noteworthy cases, this program makes a strong case that the credibility of the criminal justice system depends on its ability to defend unsympathetic clients.

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